Author Archives: Barbara Anne Asher

Concrete to Sandstone, Cityscapes to Landscapes

Heavenly Hills Lodge
“A farm in the middle of the city,” is how I once answered a profile question on a meetup site when someone gave me a free membership as a gift.  I am sure I don’t remember the exact wording of the question, but it was something like, “Where would you rather live?  a. city,   b. country,   c. suburbs,   d. other:  please specify.”  

Hey, I wasn’t trying to be silly, it was the honest truth.  (I just have one of those personalities that sees an adventure awaiting in every choice!)    Think about it, how cool would that be? A farmhouse with a penthouse suite, great views of a rolling meadow on the one hand and a glistening night skyline on the other!

Perhaps that is a silly idea, but one of the great things about the Louisville area is that you have all of the benefits of a city, but the country is just around the corner. My friends Jim and Sam(antha) are getting married today, in an outdoor wedding at a wonderful lodge on the edge of a lake in the Clark State Forest in Indiana (see the picture above, taken today). From the lodge, nothing of civilization can be seen, yet it is an easy drive on well-maintained roads–mostly interstate–just 35 minutes across the river from downtown Louisville.

That site is just one of many within easy driving distance of Louisville in almost any direction. Last Sunday, a local church singles group drove to Natural Bridge State Resort Park in the edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest at Red River Gorge National Geological Area, just a little over an hour’s drive south in Kentucky.  At the beginning of the foothills of the Appalachians, this park boasts incredible scenic views, hiking trails with an amazing variety of terrain, caves and some of the most unusual rock formations due to the sedimentary sandstone that time, wind, and water have carved. From short, well-marked trails with handrails and steps, to primitive areas where backpacking is allowed, and from campsites to a lodge with a home-cooked buffet, this Kentucky State Park offers much to those who live many states away or just around the corner.  Just think, the singles group left church at 12:30, drove to the park, hiked, shopped in two gift shops, walked across a swinging bridge, looked for interesting insects in a cave, ate a great dinner buffet with a view of the forest, and were back home by 8:30 pm. Where else but Louisville could you do something like that?

P.S.  There are a lot of websites about Natural Bridge, each with its own value.  Some are linked above.  You may also find this one helpful:  http://www.redrivergorge.com/naturalbridge.html.  Let me know if you have a better one!

Barbara Asher

Barbara Anne Asher

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Just for Singles: Sept 24-25

Brandon Heath, 2009 Dove Awards Male Vocalist of the Year

A world-class city also needs world-class houses of worship, and Louisville boasts some of the largest in the nation.  One of those, Southeast Christian Church, is hosting an event just for singles, Single Life Weekend

Complete with a world-class recording artist on Friday night, September 24, there will be ample time for socializing with other singles.  Brandon Heath, 2009 Dove Awards Male Vocalist of the Year, will lead the worship celebration on Friday evening after some pizza and mingling opportunities that begin at 6:00 pm.

Saturday promises to be just as fulfilling with workshops from a singles perspective, and, oh yes, lunch.

Dinner? Lunch?  Concert?  Two of my faves, food and music, plus a chance to meet up with friends, make some new ones, and possibly even learn something.  Can’t get much better than that. 

Is your group hosting an event? or, are you just one of those people who knows everything that’s happening?  Either way, let me know!

Barbara Asher

Barbara Anne Asher

Louisville? Underrated?? Oh, we have GOT to be changing that!

Picked up a magazine from the mail box last night and immediately it fell open to a tidbit about Louisville being ranked as a top underrated city.   Just under that, it then incorrectly said “overrated.”  My smile turned to a defensive grimace.  In the next sentence, however, it reverted to “underrated.”  It was clear this was just a hasty proofreading or editing error, but, you know how it is when your emotions become invested.  I couldn’t waste any time checking it out, and neither should you.

ShermansTravel ranked Louisville as their fifth most underrated city in their list of “some less-talked-about places with great art scenes, friendly locals, delectable cuisine, and/or rich history.”  Specifically noted for Louisville were its “cosmopolitan riverfront district,” “diverse art scene,” and “growing foodie market with its own Restaurant Row.”  (Hey, I told you it was Louie-ville Foodie-ville, or aren’t you reading all of my posts? )

Here’s to ShermansTravel for sharing the love of Louisville!

Barbara Asher

Barbara Anne Asher

Louie-ville Foodie-ville

OK, I know that native Louisvillians don’t pronounce the name of our fair city as “Louie-ville”, but a big event this weekend warrants the title’s rhyme!  World-class taste?  Oh, yeah, Louisville‘s got it–just ask Emeril Lagasse

How many of you are going to see Emeril at the Fork, Cork and Style Festival this weekend at Churchill Downs.  There will be demos by many other chefs, too, but the Grand Wine Tastings might be worth the admission all on their own.

Hey, anyone get half price tickets with the Groupon earlier this week?  When you hear of a good deal on a great event, let us in on it, ok?

Barbara Asher 

Barbara Anne Asher

New Semonin blog feature: Events!

I love Louisville!  I can’t say that I always have–I tried pretty hard to find a job elsewhere after college, but luckily for me, interviews in big cities were difficult to get.  I wanted to live in an exciting, world-class city, like the one I was born in, Chicago, or the one I loved to visit, New York.  Then, one day, I realized that I already lived in such a city!

So, just what makes a city exciting and world-class?  In my mind, it was the colorful array of humanity that I imagined to be bursting forth at every busy street corner.  My earliest childhood friends had families who spoke different languages and kitchens that smelled so wonderfully different.  Just playing at a friend’s house was an exciting adventure for the senses!

And, the city also had to be “big.”  I’ve always felt at home in crowds–they are just so full of promise… the new friend you might meet, the adventure waiting to be had.  Maybe it was all of those new schools I had to go to that taught me crowd appreciation, I’m not sure.  But crowds were definitely part of my “exciting, world-class city” vision.  Oh, my sweet memories of hot summer nights at a Chicago Jazz Festival with my best friend, Lisa! and hot summer days in the same city for the Taste festival.

Well, guess what?  The older I get, and the more big cities Lisa moves to and through, the more I realize that I prefer my weekends in Louisville.  World class festivals?  We have ’em!  Colorful array of humanity?  We have ’em!  Big crowds? Oh yeah, we’ve got them, too!  Wonderfully different smells wafting from ethnic kitchens?  Oh, my, have we got those!

Let’s celebrate the wonderful sights, sounds, and tastes of Louisville and its Kentuckiana area.  Watch this spot for area events, and bring the stories of your favorites, too.  Hey, it’s Friday, have you made your list of festivals and events to visit yet?

Barbara Asher

Barbara Anne Asher

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